© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Educational Hunting Stories - Page C
On Being a Good Firearms Ambassador: The Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting rampage by a deranged individual left 12 people dead, 58 physically wounded and an large unknown number of psychologically traumatized adults and children. The assailant used a high capacity, military style gun to blaze away in the dark theater. It was a tragedy that galvanized concerned citizens nation-wide to question the need for such firearms. The Colorado legislature eventually yielded to public demands and banned large capacity gun clips. I was sheep wagon camped on a shore bluff at Heart Lake about ten days after the movie theater hooting. This is an idyllic recreation mecca of the southern Flat Tops. Many families camp around the lake, and many more at the developed Deep Lake campground a half mile away. People go there to relax and enjoy nature. An unexpected barrage of semi(?) automatic rifle fire shattered the silence. Two shooters were simultaneously flinging lead at the rate of about 1,500 rounds per half hour. The rifle fire echoed across the large lake. By the time twenty minutes passed, I had entered a rage, got into my vehicle, and driven to the shooters lakeside camp. As calmly as possible I said, “I see by your Browning monogrammed camouflaged shirts that you are hunters.” “Yes, we are.” Using some silence, I let them wonder what I was doing there. “I am too, and I do not like what you are doing to the image of real hunters.” “What????” “Don’t you have any considerations for people who are still greatly traumatized by the Aurora theater shootings? They come here to relax, and you make it seem like they entered a war zone. How can you callously frighten them and make them anti-gun people!” “Well, we have a right to own guns and to shoot them here as we please”. I countered, “You may have the legal right, but not a moral right to disturb the peace with excessive gun fire. I am sure many people are concerned at your actions, and that they mentally relate to all the movie viewers slaughtered by your type of gun power.” The spokesman said, “That was done by an insane gun nut, and we are not gun nuts!” I did not say a word, just silently stared long right in his eyes. “YOU HAVE AFFRONTED ME --- Y-O-U HAVE AFFRONTED ME!” tumbled from his confused mind. “What shoe fits, --- fits!” I retorted.” If I ever had any welcome, the welcome was certainly worn out. I left, but not before telling them I had their license plate numbers memorized. I considered the mass of casings to be litter and would certainly file a complaint if they were left behind. There was no more shooting. The lake regained its sereneness. The ex-marines must have done some reflective thinking and reformed. That evening children’s singing again wafted across the lake. The point of this story is to ask all hunters and shooters to be cognizant of what they are doing, where they do it, and to be considerate to others. Your right to wildly swing your arms around ceases they you come close to another person’s nose. Do not create an ugly image with the public. Try to diplomatically correct the situation if you see other people creating bad images for hunters and sport shooters. Our arms-bearing heritage may be limited by the inconsiderate action of a few callous individuals. Note: Be careful, because there are insane gun toting people out there. I recall a man camping with his family along Deep Creek (near Gypsum, Colorado) being shot dead when asking an adjoining camper to pick up his stream -side litter. And, grimly, in 2015 a father slumped over a summer family campfire - shot dead by an unknown sport shooter not paying attention to target backdrop safety. You might not agree with me on my philosophy. However, my objective is to preserve the heritage of hunting and the access to quality public hunting lands. I do not want people to think hunters are bad nor that there should be strict gun controls. Entice Women Afield with Proper Fitting Female Clothing and Gear: Clothing should be comfortable for women if you want them to go afield with you more than once. Many women cannot find off-the-shelf clothing that properly fit and provide adequate protection. If you have not noticed, women are built differently, and like us dudes, they change shape over the years. Big box stores feature men’s clothing but offer little for women to wear in the field. Fortunately, modern technology and some female entrepreneurs are offering appropriate and comfortable female apparel. Prois is one company that offers high-tech gear for hunting women. Avid huntress Kirstie Pike of Gunnison, Colorado, started it. As a nurse, she comprehended women’s hunt clothes have to be designed and cut to provide maximum comfort and enjoyment while working, and have a respectable amount of style. Undefeated Veteran: I met a wonderful disabled veteran in 2015 – wonderful because of his attitude! He suffered from degenerating bone mass, which prevents him from walking far. Unfortunately, he is too young by several years to receive hip replacements from the VA. However, he was undaunted and had planned for his elk hunt. He was using a motorized, high-tech tracked wheel chair to get himself around in the mountains. A deep trail toppled and damaged his rig, and spilled him out with hand injuries. Then he reverted to using the standard hand-propelled wheel chair. I greatly admire a man like that! Know Your Limitations and Hunt Area Boundaries, or Pay Dearly Forever: The garage sale told part of the story. There were three bare vintage pack frames, and an obviously revered framed deer color lithograph. Behind the table sat a distinguished elderly gentleman. “I see by your outfit you were a hunter”, l sang. Soon a discouraging history unfolded. The man had not hunted for a number of years. On his last elk hunt, he bagged a massive bull. Unfortunately, the fellow had wandered out of his game unit. He called the game warden and turned himself in when he realized his error. The bull was declared illegal and was confiscated. At a hearing the Division of Wildlife issued him a large fine. The worst part was a disgraceful termination of all hunting rights for three years. “Having my hunting rights taken away really broke my lifetime hunting spirit”, uttered the defeated old man. Colorado has some unique property rights definitions. One is airspace. It is illegal to cross diagonally over a corner junction of two public land sections. The reasoning is that in doing so your body trespasses through the airspace of private land. There was a rash of Sweetwater valley trespass violations as ranchers watched these junctions when this trespass ruling was issued many years ago. I later learned that some ranchers were leasing their land hunting rights to outfitters. By enforcing the junction law, ranchers worked with outfitters acting as scouts to seal off public lands for private commercial hunting. A archer called me and disclosed he was charged $800 a person years ago just to walk across ranch land to get to public land and retrieve his elk. Money drives so many semi-ethics! Get maps and prepare your hunt so that you stay legal. Do not let your wallet suffer, or worse yet your dignity and self-respect. Stumbling Upon a Huge Weary 2013 Bull Ghost: Hunting had been a bit slow during the first rifle season, which received fifteen inches of snow over several days. Hunting had been discouraging. A tired hunter and his Pack String Ranch guide edged around a hedgerow and froze at the sight. Twelve yards away was this massive atypical bull. The brute had a large, flat blade for its third tine. It evidently was weary and inattentive after the snowstorms and was enjoying the post-storm clearing weather. Always get afield immediately after a snowstorm - always! And be afield during lulls in storms. Elk and deer may use this period to move to areas better protected from wind and drifting snow - wouldn't you also relocate to a better place to hunker down? Photos courtesy of Pack String Ranch Outfitters (packstringranchoutfitters.com) Perseverance and Patience on a Truck Hood Payoff for a Disabled Soldier: The mail carrier and the barber or beautician was the sources for current information/gossip before the computer age. They were the ones to talk to if you needed a job or wanted to know where to find something, or what was going on in the neighborhood. My hunting barber related this story about hunting with a disabled soldier . Jerry was involved in a rollover accident near Ft. Riley, Kansas. Paramedics had to amputate both his legs on site to remove him from the burning wreckage. He reassembled his future with the ambition and positive attitude of a young man. He became an avid elk hunter. Each morning he would wheelchair himself to his truck, crawl in and drive alone to a wide- open observation area. There he pulled himself out of his wheelchair, wiggled up onto the truck hood and leaned against the windshield. He quietly sat there all day, if necessary, but not usually. Soon his afield companions would hear "KA-BOOM" and know Jerry had beaten everyone to an elk. He did that same successful routine every year. On the other hand, Barber Joe and his friends stalked around for days and never saw elk. You have to be patient. Also, remember that Jerry spent his days being still and highly observant. Do not awkwardly invade animals' territories. Remember the core conclusion of Robert Ardrey's book, "The Territorial Imperative". Each animal has its own territorial geographic and environmental limits in which it feels comfortable and in life-mandatory control within its surroundings. Obtrusively break those boundaries and your prey will react with survival in mind - the animals will flee its comfort boundary. Thoughtless and Reckless Manslaughter: Do not let your hunting trip become a nightmare through mental negligence and fatique. In 2013, two Lake County elk hunters scored down from a mountain road. They decided to drag the entire carcass out of the trees and up onto the road. They rigged a cable across the road and began winching the elk up so they could slide it into their pickup. Preoccupied, they failed to comprehend sounds of a motorcycle speeding up the road. THINK of what you are doing. Negligence can cost you and others a great deal of pain and grief. Aspiring to hang an entire elk carcass in your front yard to impress neighbors is not worth a sprained back, let alone a life. Quarter elk! Mules of Different Colors: Wrangler Steve was pointing out some of his horses as we climbed the trail in 2014 toward my “Camp Solitude”. This is a place I dream about all year, and where I will finally rest in ash form. “This mule has had quite all summer,” Steve said. “Early this summer he was found missing from his Colorado Springs area pasture. He just could not be located. In the fall, the rancher received a phone call from the Park Service asking if he was missing a mule. It seems the critter was smart enough to ascend as high as he could get toward mule Heaven. Come get you mule off Pikes Peak was the request. The Park Service said the mule had spent a cool, lazy the summer at 14,141 feet lavishing on cookies, snack, apples and any other junk food he mooched from tourists.” So that is how “Pikes” got his new name. Jerry and I met at Denney’s for our annual post-elk hunt converse. In 2014, Jerry was short on hunting time and applied for a license in the Evergreen area where a friend had some acreage. Bull elk habitually traveled over the eight-acre plot. Opening morning two bulls sashayed up the draw toward Jerry and his buddy. It was going to be a double slam-dunk! Then, at the property boundary, the bulls veered toward and around a neighbor’s home (accustomed to scouting for flowerbed snacks?). The bulls then wandered toward other homes in the development. The hunters could not shoot in that direction. Low and behold, twenty minutes later another handsome bull meandered up the draw and did the same thing! Disgusted, the two guys went home after a two hour elk season. “So, how was your hunt” Jerry asked. I related my frustration with the warm, rainy weather and constantly moving pesky hunters. I handed Jerry some photographs to better let him understand the conditions. I could comprehend Jerry was not listening to a word I was saying when his eyes went plate wide and his jaw dropped to his Adams apple. He was staring at this photo of the outfitter’s loaded packhorses. “THAT’S RUBY!!!” he finally blurted. No,” I responded, “the wranglers were Steve and Bob” “Not the guys,” dumbfounded Jerry snapped, “that’s my mule Ruby! Pete, tell me again, when did you hunt?” “Late October.” “Ruby was supposed to be trucked in September to Oklahoma for winter quartering!!!” “Heck Jerry, that is just a look-alike mule – don’t mules look pretty much the same?” Jerry was in a daze during the rest of our breakfast, several times picking up the photo. That afternoon Jerry called. “I told you that was my mule Ruby!” It seems the outfitter is a farrier who shoes horses free at a Christian summer camp. He was permitted to use some stock for hunting season in a fair enough exchange. Jerry’s mule is also used by the camp in the summer. This year Jerry hunted “in town” and did not need his pet. That is how Ruby got commissioned into the outfitters string. Nuisance Anti-hunting Horses: Two loose horses cavorted several days in my elk hunting area. They were pests! They came to me no matter where I went or sat. They smelled and tried to get at the foil-wrapped granola bars in my backpack. It is hard to hunt when horses try to nuzzle up to you or mill just out of stick- poking distance in front of your stand. I would run out of throwing rocks. They snorted at me if I ignored them to long. Once, I had to follow them when I realized they were heading pell-mell toward my tent – probably looking for food and potential mischief with my tent and gear. Prepare and Load Your Truck properly!: I spent some time in my book trying to convince hunters to properly care for their vehicles prior to the hunt season. I hope this old photo will convince you to drive slowly and safely in a vehicle which is not overloaded, imbalanced, or with poor brakes and tires. Switchback roads is no pace to experiment with your vehicle! (See my book for details of this wreck.)
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page.
On Being a Good Firearms Ambassador: The Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting rampage by a deranged individual left 12 people dead, 58 physically wounded and an large unknown number of psychologically traumatized adults and children. The assailant used a high capacity, military style gun to blaze away in the dark theater. It was a tragedy that galvanized concerned citizens nation-wide to question the need for such firearms. The Colorado legislature eventually yielded to public demands and banned large capacity gun clips. I was sheep wagon camped on a shore bluff at Heart Lake about ten days after the movie theater hooting. This is an idyllic recreation mecca of the southern Flat Tops. Many families camp around the lake, and many more at the developed Deep Lake campground a half mile away. People go there to relax and enjoy nature. An unexpected barrage of semi(?) automatic rifle fire shattered the silence. Two shooters were simultaneously flinging lead at the rate of about 1,500 rounds per half hour. The rifle fire echoed across the large lake. By the time twenty minutes passed, I had entered a rage, got into my vehicle, and driven to the shooters lakeside camp. As calmly as possible I said, “I see by your Browning monogrammed camouflaged shirts that you are hunters.” “Yes, we are.” Using some silence, I let them wonder what I was doing there. “I am too, and I do not like what you are doing to the image of real hunters.” “What????” “Don’t you have any considerations for people who are still greatly traumatized by the Aurora theater shootings? They come here to relax, and you make it seem like they entered a war zone. How can you callously frighten them and make them anti-gun people!” “Well, we have a right to own guns and to shoot them here as we please”. I countered, “You may have the legal right, but not a moral right to disturb the peace with excessive gun fire. I am sure many people are concerned at your actions, and that they mentally relate to all the movie viewers slaughtered by your type of gun power.” The spokesman said, “That was done by an insane gun nut, and we are not gun nuts!” I did not say a word, just silently stared long right in his eyes. “YOU HAVE AFFRONTED ME --- Y-O-U HAVE AFFRONTED ME!” tumbled from his confused mind. “What shoe fits, --- fits!” I retorted.” If I ever had any welcome, the welcome was certainly worn out. I left, but not before telling them I had their license plate numbers memorized. I considered the mass of casings to be litter and would certainly file a complaint if they were left behind. There was no more shooting. The lake regained its sereneness. The ex-marines must have done some reflective thinking and reformed. That evening children’s singing again wafted across the lake. The point of this story is to ask all hunters and shooters to be cognizant of what they are doing, where they do it, and to be considerate to others. Your right to wildly swing your arms around ceases they you come close to another person’s nose. Do not create an ugly image with the public. Try to diplomatically correct the situation if you see other people creating bad images for hunters and sport shooters. Our arms-bearing heritage may be limited by the inconsiderate action of a few callous individuals. Note: Be careful, because there are insane gun toting people out there. I recall a man camping with his family along Deep Creek (near Gypsum, Colorado) being shot dead when asking an adjoining camper to pick up his stream -side litter. And, grimly, in 2015 a father slumped over a summer family campfire - shot dead by an unknown sport shooter not paying attention to target backdrop safety. You might not agree with me on my philosophy. However, my objective is to preserve the heritage of hunting and the access to quality public hunting lands. I do not want people to think hunters are bad nor that there should be strict gun controls. Entice Women Afield with Proper Fitting Female Clothing and Gear: Clothing should be comfortable for women if you want them to go afield with you more than once. Many women cannot find off-the-shelf clothing that properly fit and provide adequate protection. If you have not noticed, women are built differently, and like us dudes, they change shape over the years. Big box stores feature men’s clothing but offer little for women to wear in the field. Fortunately, modern technology and some female entrepreneurs are offering appropriate and comfortable female apparel. Prois is one company that offers high-tech gear for hunting women. Avid huntress Kirstie Pike of Gunnison, Colorado, started it. As a nurse, she comprehended women’s hunt clothes have to be designed and cut to provide maximum comfort and enjoyment while working, and have a respectable amount of style. Undefeated Veteran : I met a wonderful disabled veteran in 2015 wonderful because of his attitude! He suffered from degenerating bone mass, which prevents him from walking far. Unfortunately, he is too young by several years to receive hip replacements from the VA. However, he was undaunted and had planned for his elk hunt. He was using a motorized, high-tech tracked wheel chair to get himself around in the mountains. A deep trail toppled and damaged his rig, and spilled him out with hand injuries. Then he reverted to using the standard hand-propelled wheel chair. I greatly admire a man like that! Know Your Limitations and Hunt Area Boundaries, or Pay Dearly Forever: The garage sale told part of the story. There were three bare vintage pack frames, and an obviously revered framed deer color lithograph. Behind the table sat a distinguished elderly gentleman. “I see by your outfit you were a hunter”, l sang. Soon a discouraging history unfolded. The man had not hunted for a number of years. On his last elk hunt, he bagged a massive bull. Unfortunately, the fellow had wandered out of his game unit. He called the game warden and turned himself in when he realized his error. The bull was declared illegal and was confiscated. At a hearing the Division of Wildlife issued him a large fine. The worst part was a disgraceful termination of all hunting rights for three years. “Having my hunting rights taken away really broke my lifetime hunting spirit”, uttered the defeated old man. Colorado has some unique property rights definitions. One is airspace. It is illegal to cross diagonally over a corner junction of two public land sections. The reasoning is that in doing so your body trespasses through the airspace of private land. There was a rash of Sweetwater valley trespass violations as ranchers watched these junctions when this trespass ruling was issued many years ago. I later learned that some ranchers were leasing their land hunting rights to outfitters. By enforcing the junction law, ranchers worked with outfitters acting as scouts to seal off public lands for private commercial hunting. A archer called me and disclosed he was charged $800 a person years ago just to walk across ranch land to get to public land and retrieve his elk. Money drives so many semi-ethics! Get maps and prepare your hunt so that you stay legal. Do not let your wallet suffer, or worse yet your dignity and self- respect. Stumbling Upon a Huge Weary 2013 Bull Ghost: Hunting had been a bit slow during the first rifle season, which received fifteen inches of snow over several days. Hunting had been discouraging. A tired hunter and his Pack String Ranch guide edged around a hedgerow and froze at the sight. Twelve yards away was this massive atypical bull. The brute had a large, flat blade for its third tine. It evidently was weary and inattentive after the snowstorms and was enjoying the post-storm clearing weather. Always get afield immediately after a snowstorm - always! And be afield during lulls in storms. Elk and deer may use this period to move to areas better protected from wind and drifting snow - wouldn't you also relocate to a better place to hunker down? Photos courtesy of Pack String Ranch Outfitters ( packstringranchoutfitters.com ) Perseverance and Patience on a Truck Hood Payoff for a Disabled Soldier: The mail carrier and the barber or beautician was the sources for current information/gossip before the computer age. They were the ones to talk to if you needed a job or wanted to know where to find something, or what was going on in the neighborhood. My hunting barber related this story about hunting with a disabled soldier . Jerry was involved in a rollover accident near Ft. Riley, Kansas. Paramedics had to amputate both his legs on site to remove him from the burning wreckage. He reassembled his future with the ambition and positive attitude of a young man. He became an avid elk hunter. Each morning he would wheelchair himself to his truck, crawl in and drive alone to a wide- open observation area. There he pulled himself out of his wheelchair, wiggled up onto the truck hood and leaned against the windshield. He quietly sat there all day, if necessary, but not usually. Soon his afield companions would hear "KA-BOOM" and know Jerry had beaten everyone to an elk. He did that same successful routine every year. On the other hand, Barber Joe and his friends stalked around for days and never saw elk. You have to be patient. Also, remember that Jerry spent his days being still and highly observant. Do not awkwardly invade animals' territories. Remember the core conclusion of Robert Ardrey's book, "The Territorial Imperative". Each animal has its own territorial geographic and environmental limits in which it feels comfortable and in life- mandatory control within its surroundings. Obtrusively break those boundaries and your prey will react with survival in mind - the animals will flee its comfort boundary. Thoughtless and Reckless Manslaughter: Do not let your hunting trip become a nightmare through mental negligence and fatique. In 2013, two Lake County elk hunters scored down from a mountain road. They decided to drag the entire carcass out of the trees and up onto the road. They rigged a cable across the road and began winching the elk up so they could slide it into their pickup. Preoccupied, they failed to comprehend sounds of a motorcycle speeding up the road. THINK of what you are doing. Negligence can cost you and others a great deal of pain and grief. Aspiring to hang an entire elk carcass in your front yard to impress neighbors is not worth a sprained back, let alone a life. Quarter elk! Mules of Different Colors: Wrangler Steve was pointing out some of his horses as we climbed the trail in 2014 toward my “Camp Solitude”. This is a place I dream about all year, and where I will finally rest in ash form. “This mule has had quite all summer,” Steve said. “Early this summer he was found missing from his Colorado Springs area pasture. He just could not be located. In the fall, the rancher received a phone call from the Park Service asking if he was missing a mule. It seems the critter was smart enough to ascend as high as he could get toward mule Heaven. Come get you mule off Pikes Peak was the request. The Park Service said the mule had spent a cool, lazy the summer at 14,141 feet lavishing on cookies, snack, apples and any other junk food he mooched from tourists.” So that is how “Pikes” got his new name. Jerry and I met at Denney’s for our annual post- elk hunt converse. In 2014, Jerry was short on hunting time and applied for a license in the Evergreen area where a friend had some acreage. Bull elk habitually traveled over the eight-acre plot. Opening morning two bulls sashayed up the draw toward Jerry and his buddy. It was going to be a double slam-dunk! Then, at the property boundary, the bulls veered toward and around a neighbor’s home (accustomed to scouting for flowerbed snacks?). The bulls then wandered toward other homes in the development. The hunters could not shoot in that direction. Low and behold, twenty minutes later another handsome bull meandered up the draw and did the same thing! Disgusted, the two guys went home after a two hour elk season. “So, how was your hunt” Jerry asked. I related my frustration with the warm, rainy weather and constantly moving pesky hunters. I handed Jerry some photographs to better let him understand the conditions. I could comprehend Jerry was not listening to a word I was saying when his eyes went plate wide and his jaw dropped to his Adams apple. He was staring at this photo of the outfitter’s loaded packhorses. “THAT’S RUBY!!!” he finally blurted. No,” I responded, “the wranglers were Steve and Bob” “Not the guys,” dumbfounded Jerry snapped, “that’s my mule Ruby! Pete, tell me again, when did you hunt?” “Late October.” “Ruby was supposed to be trucked in September to Oklahoma for winter quartering!!!” “Heck Jerry, that is just a look-alike mule – don’t mules look pretty much the same?” Jerry was in a daze during the rest of our breakfast, several times picking up the photo. That afternoon Jerry called. “I told you that was my mule Ruby!” It seems the outfitter is a farrier who shoes horses free at a Christian summer camp. He was permitted to use some stock for hunting season in a fair enough exchange. Jerry’s mule is also used by the camp in the summer. This year Jerry hunted “in town” and did not need his pet. That is how Ruby got commissioned into the outfitters string. Nuisance Anti-hunting H o r s e s : Two loose horses cavorted several days in my elk hunting area. They were pests! They came to me no matter where I went or sat. They smelled and tried to get at the foil-wrapped granola bars in my backpack. It is hard to hunt when horses try to nuzzle up to you or mill just out of stick-poking distance in front of your stand. I would run out of throwing rocks. They snorted at me if I ignored them to long. Once, I had to follow them when I realized they were heading pell- mell toward my tent probably looking for food and potential mischief with my tent a nd gear. Prepare and Load Your Truck properly!: I spent some time in my book trying to convince hunters to properly care for their vehicles prior to the hunt season. I hope this old photo will convince you to drive slowly, safely in a vehicle, which is not overloaded, imbalanced, or with poor brakes and tires. (See my book for details of this wreck.)
Hunt Stories - C
Index Index